Before you decide on selling anything online, you need to first determine who your customer is, what they often purchase, and why they are purchasing online.

This is called "customer comprehension". The better you understand your customer, the easier it will be to sell stuff to them. Obviously, at the core of any business, the ultimate goal is to create a profit. To create a profit, you must have customers and you must be able to sell to these customers.

One of the most common mistakes I see people make is promoting to a customer (or audience) before they fully understand who their audience is. It is very easy to waste money promoting what you "think" people want, rather than what they are actually looking for.

Don't make assumptions on your customers, gain an understanding. You will be much more successful.

Before we go any further, we need to understand the steps someone takes between the time they learn of a product or service, to the time that they actually make a purchase. That is what my goal is to help you understand.

Let's look at some it. Some known facts about a customer:

(1) Customers rarely buy on their first point of contact to a product
(2) It typically takes a person 7 times (this could be website visits, email newsletter, etc.) before they make a purchase online.
(3) Customers do not buy from people they don't trust
(4) Customers are exchanging "money" for something that will improve upon their existing situation
(5) Customers have more access to product information and reviews than they ever have
(6) Most customers can see through scammy promotions, in fact are turned off

I am going to show you how to catch people later in their buying cycle so you can increase your chances of someone "buying" versus having to walk them through all points of contact. This will simplify the selling process drastically!

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ClintBullock Premium
This was very good reading about what the customers are thinking about before they are ready to make their purchases. I just started my website and I have 5 post so far, and I decided not to try to sell anything yet. My website is about bowling awards and gifts, and my post so far are about the problems of where to find the awards, what bowling awards are out there, what to look for when deciding to buy an award for someone else as a gift, etc. So I think I am doing it the right way so far. I am trying to get the customers interested in several ideas and at the same time to trust me, because I am not pushing anything on them, just giving them ideas. please let me know your thoughts.
Cynsim4 Premium
Great lesson! From my experience it is great to treat customers the way you would like to be treated. Yes, it is very important to remember we are customers to. Customers like to buy, but they do not always like to be sold to. I respect customers who like to do their research before researching. The lesson has helped to remember to provide useful information, to build trust, but most importantly, give them the option to buy immediately if they choose.
pieleo Premium

Having had a couple small businesses and worked for retailers, as you said developing trust and customer interaction is VERY important. When I worked at HomeDepot in garden it was thrilling when one of MY customers would come in and say they needed my help then "escorted" me into another department for help.
The same is true here. BUILD TRUST & CREDENTIALS then once they have been established the sales will follow. On my site i will be writting many blogs (over the next few months) to establish credentials and trust before offering products. Then will come the followup with the 'new repeat customers'.
Credentials -> Trust ->Return visits -> $ale$ ->Followup -> more $.
WealthyPilot Premium
Fascinating. When we are fixated on the technical aspects of building our websites, and when we are fixated on writing articles, it easy to overlook the "human" element of the sales funnel.

This post has piqued my interest, and I am eager to learn more about the buying cycle, and how to catch people at various stages of the cycle, to influence them to convert into customers.
skyysangel Premium
This is where Kyle gets mad at me. You see, I'm not that kind of customer. When I go looking for something. I know what I want (and I'll give you an example) and I buy it as soon as I find it. I'm not the smallest woman in the world and some clothes aren't easy to find. One thing that is particularly hard to find for me are comfortable shoes. Skechers sneakes have an extra wide width secton and I can't even tell I'm wearing them. So if I go looking for shoes and I find what I want in my size, width, and color I buy it right then and there. It's the same way with my clothes. If I find something I like I buy it. Thee is no going back and forth about it. I don't ask anybody's opinion. I've never been like that with anything. I do things on my own. Growing up I didn't have the intenet. There was no Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. I wasn't very popular in school because I was shy and not one of those skinny cheerleader types. I was one of the kids that got bullied in school. When I got older I got abused by two ex-husbands I don't open up to alot of people and ask people's opinions on many things. I know that a lot of people that are like me behave the same way. They don't open up anymore than I do. You don't know just how hard it was fo me to join you here. How do we reach people like me. A lot of the women that I advocate for don't even have a computer. I'm just too damn stubborn to let them continue to make me a victim. I live my life. I'm just very cautious about who I let into it. I just got really lucky when I stumbled into this awesome group of people. I have never her heard one discouraging word since I got here. I just needed you to know that we don't all work the way you'd like us to. life has made sure we don't. Thank You For Your Time!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
possumlane Premium
We are all different people and we all have our own burdens to carry and the very fact that you are able to talk about them is a victory. If there is anything I can do to help you on your journey please feel free to contact me and I will do what I can when I can
Carol from Australia
Kyle Premium Plus
Yes, I am that type of customer too...sometimes. Sometimes I do research, sometimes I buy right away, sometimes I research and don't buy at all.

We can look inwards at all of our buying activities and learn a lot about them, a the very least be aware that others go through that sort of process.

Merry Christmas to you and thanks for chiming in. Definitely not going mad here, I actually really appreciate your feedback and personal insights.
GShaw Premium
More power to you for taking a 'leap of faith' and trusting the process provided on WA. That alone is a major victory step for you!

It is great you have decided to put yourself out there and ready to carve a better life for you and those around you. I have no doubt in the months to come you'll be grateful you did.

You're definitely right! There is nothing but amazing support on WA.

I wish you all the possible success in the world and a ton of happiness in the future.

Keep doing what you're doing because you've made an excellent choice.

CHMOSE8101 Premium
Hello Sky and welcome to Wealthy Affiliate. I completely understand where you are coming from because I WAS a victim. Not any more. I don't carry that label. Anyway, you will get there too.
I think that what Kyle is saying is not that people shop like that because we all do things differently but I think what he is saying is that in the buying cycle a customer is more likely to converse if they type in the keyword Buy golf club, or whatever that golf example was. Anyway, it is the keyword that is being searched like Buy-------------, or compare these two---------------------. As opposed to someone customer searching keyword golf club. Which they may be wanting to draw a golf club and not buy one. Does that make any sense? Just let me know if you need anything.
CHMOSE8101 Premium
Sorry if my texting is a little messed up... It is 5 a.m. and I have not had any coffee..